Nine months after the devastating storm, I had to come and visit Tacloban. We were already there last November of 2013 a week after the storm bring several tons of relief goods to the people. I just had to go back and find out what happened after. Well, I was also there to find students whom we could help in going back to school.
Months After Haiyan
There were obvious changes to the lives of the Haiyan Victims, schools operated back again, traffic was busy, the government repaired structures, NGOs from different parts of the world maintained their posts and so on. Yet, there are a lot of people still living and making makeshift homes right beside the ocean where they used to live. None of them showing signs of being afraid that once again the same storm might come back and wipe them off from the area. They must move to the relocated zones in which they could live. The government has to do something into it. The danger was proven horrifically real and everyone must move out from the shore live areas.
People seem to be waiting for nothing, I can’t blame them. They need to restart their lives and to do that, difficult. it takes some time to forget what happened, rebuild, gather some positive morale and the zest to enjoy life and move on.
Finding Students for Scholarship
My visit in Tacloban was not just about knowing what has happened after Haiyan, I was there to find students affected by Haiyan and give them the chance to go back to school with financial support. By doing this, we just don’t help one family in sending a child to school, but it also give the opportunity for them to breathe financially and improve themselves economically absent the burden of sending a child to school.
I had to the government school district office to find guidance to which school I had to get a scholar. The head told me that I should be going to San Jose, she asked for a driver to take me there and I found the school under construction as the storm-surge engulf the whole area three times destroying everything on its path. The school principal gave me six student to interview and took some time knowing these kids so to be sure that they are worthy of taking a scholarship from Adventchores.
i had to go to another school which is an hour away from the Tacloban. Abuyog was quite a chore to get there, I had to take the public bus which was really mind blowing to take since it will only live when every seat is taken and plus it just stopped anytime on the road. it was raining hard, I still get the shivers of “what if;” what if another Haiyan is coming today. Anyways, I am allowed to nurture some fear within me. Reaching the town before the other school, the bus stopped at a station and I had to take another ride. The only vehicle available to get there was a motorcycle they call “Sky Lab.” It is a regular motorcycle with a skeleton to attach roofing or cover from rain. Yes it was, I took the thing to the school, it was a cold and difficult ride. The road was bumpy, the rain was heavy, after all the difficulties I made it to the boarding school. i met the principal and the registrar, i asked for one student to support and they called the boy.
Assurance and Relief
After finding all of the students that Adventchores would like to support through dedicated sponsors that are willing to share the burden, accomplishment. Knowing that I did what I had to do in finding them, I started to feel relaxed and it was time for me to go around and see life at its best around Tacloban. With all the tragic memories, the people of Tacloban displayed hope, the will to move on, some still struggling to get over with what they lost, some lost hope that the government will keep helping them until they have recovered completely.
There is hope, the government will really be there along with the NGOs that are committed; the worry is, how slow the process in accomplishing those projects for the victims of Haiyan. It will be done! Just like any country or community that has had a disaster, the process of recovery is always slow. Unless we all learn from the Japanese, they have developed different systems of relief and rescue, sustainable and designed for the type of disaster they frequently experience.
I was really happy to have seen Tacloban again, and we at adventchores are still encouraging and raising funds from the benevolent and from whatever that we could do to make students go the school and help out in the effort of making Tacloban stand up and move on.